The #5 seeded College of the Ozarks Bobcats travelled to Bartlesville, Oklahoma to take on the #4 seed Central Baptist Mustangs in the play-in game of the MCAC Tournament, and were victorious in an 8-7 slugfest.
Junior Josh Neufeld was the starting pitcher for the Bobcats and went seven innings, scattering seven hits and four strikeouts while only walking two batters. The Mustangs got to Neufeld early, scoring four runs on four hits in the 1st inning. They added to their total with a run on one hit and two Bobcat errors in the 2nd inning, taking a 5-1 lead into the 3rd.
The Bobcats got their offense firing in the top of the 5th, when catcher Winston Rasmussen and outfielder Cody Pentecost were both beaned by Mustangs’ starting pitcher Ross Westbrook. Trevor Bowling drew a walk as well, bringing first baseman Silas Bohannan to the plate. On an 0-1 pitch, Bohannan hit a grand slam over the right field wall, giving the Bobcats a lead they wouldn’t look back on. The Cats added one more run in the top of the 6th on a sacrifice fly by Bohannan, scoring Landon Teal, and the Bobcats held an 8-7 lead heading into the 9th inning.
The Bobcats brought in closer Jason Myers to pitch the final two innings of the contest, and faced adversity in the bottom of the 9th. With one out, Mustangs shortstop Josh Buczek singled to left field, advancing to second on a Bobcat error. Second baseman Brandon Papera reached on a single as well, advancing Buczek to third. Myers and the Bobcats regained their composure, getting the next batter to fly out, and the final hitter to ground out.
The Bobcats take on #1 seeded Oklahoma Wesleyan tonight at 8:00pm in the MCAC Quarterfinal. The game will be videostreamed.